Listen Up Leaders: How Body Language Plays a Crucial Role in Communication

Listen Up Leaders: How Body Language Plays a Crucial Role in Communication

Most people are aware that body language is a crucial part of communication. What most people take for granted is just how important it is to leadership. Yep, that’s right! The placement of your arms, your posture, even the way you cross your legs communicates something to your team members. Being aware of the way you present yourself to people could just give you the edge you’ve been searching for in your leadership and/or communication style. It almost seems unfair to give you one more thing to think about when you’re presenting or having a conversation. You have to make sure your dress is audience appropriate, you’re knowledgeable about what you’re saying, your word choice is intelligent, concise, and work appropriate, not to mention your presentation materials, and now you’re expected to pay attention to your body language? Yes, it’s a lot to ask, but you’re capable and can definitely handle it! So, let’s look into why this is such a vital part of leading. Establishing Your Presence If you’ve ever seen someone speak in front of a room, and immediately thought, “Wow, they must be important”, a huge part of that probably has something to do with their body language, specifically their power pose. A power pose is usually one that makes you appear large in your space. For example, a wide stance with your legs and large gestures with your arms make you look bigger by helping you occupy a larger space. This unconsciously gets people’s attention and records in their brain as “big and important”. Remember, all people have a limbic system, or “animal brain”, which subconsciously operates. It’s the same system that...
Listen Up Leaders: How much are your requests costing your team?

Listen Up Leaders: How much are your requests costing your team?

I’m the Boss, Get it Done How many of us have worked for a boss that didn’t seem to care how much was already on your plate? Rather, maybe they just didn’t think to ask. Now that you’re in their position, the “I’m the boss, get it done” mentality certainly isn’t how you operate. At least it’s not your intention. Though, and think hard about this, when was the last time you made a request and asked “What’s the cost?” Been a while, or maybe never? Tsk, tsk! More likely than not, you have people on your team that will try to make it all happen, when the reality is, they can’t. Asking what the cost is should be a best practice for you as a manager. The Cost of New Requests Often times, when we make a request of our team, we don’t have a full inventory of what’s already going on. We are concerned with our individual timelines, and forget that for every person on our team, there’s a litany of items that are in the process of being completed. Because of that, it only makes sense that you, as a manager, need to understand the true cost of any new request you make. SLOW DOWN TO ASK “WHAT’S THE COST?” AND ADJUST ACCORDINGLY! If you’re relatively organized or aware of your team, you may have some sense of who has what project and the time you think it will/should take. That’s great, and all managers should have some sense of that, but it’s not enough. To truly take inventory or your team’s resources and availability, you should probably...
3 Steps to Get Your Communication Back on Track

3 Steps to Get Your Communication Back on Track

Any of the following familiar? You feel more like you’re talking at the team instead of with the team. The team complains about communication. Not enough of the right and too much of the wrong. You get 100+ emails a day, they never stop and the only thing you have to show for it is increased anxiety and frustration You over-communicate initiatives, goals, and updates with minimal results Seek first to understand, then to be understood. – Stephen Covey Try the following 3 steps: #1 Know Thyself. We each have our own unique filter for how we see, hear, and understand the world.  Genetics, talents, experience, education, situation, and motivation are unique for each of us.  At Trybal Performance, we utilize the StrengthsFinder tool to help individuals define and understand their filters for the world around them.  Regardless of the tool you use, find something to help you gain insight into you.  Ask for feedback from those around you.  Reflect on when your communication was most successful and least successful.  Get curious and seek to understand you. #2 Know Thy Team Make it a point to understand the individuals on your team and help them understand you.  Often, we assume our filter is right and everyone else should have the same.  Based on those assumptions we communicate with little serious thought to how those around us receive and process the information we’re delivering.  We also don’t clearly help those around us understand how we see, hear, and understand what they’re sending our way.  Openly discuss and evaluate team communication.  What works and what doesn’t?  Get curious and seek to...
How Strengths Can Transform Communication [A Podcast with Lexy Thompson and Lisa Cummings]

How Strengths Can Transform Communication [A Podcast with Lexy Thompson and Lisa Cummings]

Strengths Focused Communication – Interview by Lisa Cummings of Lead Through Strengths Lexy Thompson of Trybal Performance had the chance to talk with Lisa Cummings on Lisa’s show “Lead Through Strengths” a few weeks ago. Strengths-focused communication is an integral part of what takes a team from being benchwarmers to starters! We are fortunate enough to include the link to hear the podcast and a few excerpts from the conversation focused on teams, gratitude and interacting with others in professional settings. http://traffic.libsyn.com/100kcareer/036-Lexy-Thompson.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download About these two business leaders: Lexy’s Top 10 StrengthsFinder Talent Themes: Strategic, Connectedness, Futuristic, Intellection, Command, Input, Activator, Ideation, Self-Assurance, Relator Lisa’s Top 10 StrengthsFinder Talent Themes: Strategic, Maximizer, Positivity, Individualization, Woo, Futuristic, Focus, Learner, Communication, Significance We want to thank Lisa for being such a great interviewer and letting Lexy and cover many Strengths related topics for individuals, managers, and teams. Here are a few excerpts from the podcast: Self-Awareness leads to Confidence and Leadership for Mid-Level Managers Lexy Thompson: You and I do our work at that mid-level management often times, and that’s often a really good space… to start trying to get comfortable with what’s uncomfortable for them. Lisa Cummings: I think that’s really smart because a lot of people listening are people managers and they want to be in executive roles and I could absolutely agree that that does seem to be a distinguishing factor, someone able to go in and really work in those situations confidently. There are also a lot of listeners who are individual contributors trying to be promoted into manager roles and that is about the number one complaint...
The #1 Reason a Good Conversation Goes Bad

The #1 Reason a Good Conversation Goes Bad

Sometimes we’re so concerned with how the conversation is going to go, we forget to think about what happens after the conversation! It’s likely we’re hoping some change will come about. We want someone to stop leaving their garbage all over the break room, or for the next big launch to increase profits. We can have good conversations all day long (in fact, we sincerely hope you do!), however they won’t amount to much if that’s all there is. The #1 reason good conversations go bad is a lack of results. The garbage is still everywhere and our sales actually decreased. Whatever result we were looking for didn’t happen, and suddenly that good conversation feels like a waste of time. How do we get the results we want? Accountability. There’s that blasted word again. We keep using it, and it’s for a good reason. Accountability produces results - it’s what makes our conversations matter. There’s a reason “performance” is in our company name! How do we hold each other accountable? At the end of every conversation, it’s important to discuss who will do what, by when, who will follow up, by when and how. By answering those questions, we know what steps we are taking to move forward, when they’ll be complete, and who will help ensure it all gets done. What do we do if something unexpected happens? Life is unpredictable, and any number of things can throw a wrench into our otherwise perfect plan. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of choosing accountability is the responsibility to actively communicate obstacles. The person assigned to the task...
2 Sure-Fire Ways to Quiet Your Inner Commentator

2 Sure-Fire Ways to Quiet Your Inner Commentator

Earlier this week, we talk about what our inner commentator is, and the first step toward quieting it so we can be present during conversations. Well, we decided we should share 2 more ways you can conquer that inner voice. You know, the one going through all your lunch options during the mid-morning meeting. Here are 2 ways to successfully hush your inner commentator: 1. Acknowledge & Accept It. We all have an inner voice, constantly making noise inside our skulls. Sometimes it’s our best friend, telling us we look way better in that pair of shoes than we do. Other times, it’s tearing us down and acting like a bit of jerk. Almost all of the time, it’s working hard to distract us from being present during conversations, especially Tough Conversations. Of course, those are the ones we should be most present in. Most of us try to control it, getting into an argument with it. Like a toddler throwing a tantrum, the harder we try to calm it down, the louder our inner commentator gets. Instead of trying to control it, the best way to deal with our inner commentator is to acknowledge we have one, then accept it. The idea is to quiet it, not remove it. Take this moment to let your inner commentator know you’re on to it, and you’re turning the volume down. 2. Use the Skills for Being Present. There are 3 skills we can use to keep ourselves in the moment and out of our heads: 1. Inquire, 2. Paraphrase, 3. Acknowledge. When we Inquire, we’re tapping into that all important...